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  • Quiet(-er) kit

    In a different thread I think I've described a very portable traveling kit that I put together as sort of an experiment. Yamaha multi-pad on a single stand; real hats, ride, crash on the same stand; throne. Assumes amplification is available at the venue, but it's worked out reasonably well. I can easily carry two sets of cymbals, one loud and one quiet (L80s), so they can be fitted to the playing space...

    Anyway, now I've mostly finished my latest tweaks to the acoustic kit... mostly focused on another way to match volume to the size of our music room, which is pretty small in the grand scheme of things. Technique is a better approach, of course, and I work on that a lot... but then sometimes practicing harder but not louder is useful. This recent change is fairly simple: Aquarian Superpads on snare and toms, SoundOff mutes on bass (both batter and resonant), quiet L80 cymbals. (I'd previously tried other cymbal mutes; underwhelming results.)

    The Superpads are OK. I'd agree they do what they say they will do relative to volume (lower) and tone (remains OK). The feel of the pads is different from real heads, since they're slightly "absorbent" (?) and so they feel more like e-drum heads, maybe somewhere between mesh and rubber -- possibly closer to mesh but I'd have to do side-by-side A/B comparisons to really scope that sensation out better.

    Not a recommendation, just observations...

    -D44



    ************************************************** *********************************

    Old guy, just trying to play through the arthritis...
    - Balance is a virtue; loud for its own sake is not... and loud won't fix bad
    - I may not interpret ridiculous, crazy, or stupid the way you intended
    - Common retail products are never awesome (thermo-nuclear probably is, though)
    Assume the requisite list of stuff...

  • #2
    I started working on the P issimos 'bout a decade ago. Started with a damped grip and angling the sticks downward, working specifically on lift strokes. Turns out that was key. Drummers are taught to HIT the drum; not so much to pull the sticks away from the heads and so the comfort range is loud and louder. Tapping and lifting produces instantly quieter results kinda like mallet players using the Musser grips. Going by their results you can also manage some very intricate and articulate phrasing where the old way produces mostly a banged out ratatatatatata...
    Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...








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    • #3
      I've seen the demos of the Gen16's and the L80s... what I'd like to see them make is something that was quieter than regular cymbals, but not as much as the L80's... but my needs are for recording, not practice. I run into situations where drummers beat the crud out of their brass but comparatively hit their skins too softly, and I think it would be nice to keep a nice set of quieter (but not ridiculously so) cymbals on hand in the studio for such situations.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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      • #4
        Gear: Yeah, technique is the better solution. OTOH, I was finding myself not practicing "normal" power as much as I should, though, just because "normal" volume levels are usually a bit much, here... and hence the "product" approach.

        Phil: Some cymbals can be quieter than others, of course. Happens my standard set are at the louder end of the spectrum. Don't know that the quieter end of the spectrum would be sufficiently different for your purpose, though...

        -D44

        ************************************************** *********************************

        Old guy, just trying to play through the arthritis...
        - Balance is a virtue; loud for its own sake is not... and loud won't fix bad
        - I may not interpret ridiculous, crazy, or stupid the way you intended
        - Common retail products are never awesome (thermo-nuclear probably is, though)
        Assume the requisite list of stuff...

        Comment


        • #5
          On loud cymballers; it occurs to me that the crashier aspects of cymbals don't happen till they are crashed and the bashing might be a recording technique that at least presents a sharp attack and full range tone that lines up tighter and edits easier; blending with toms notwithstanding of course.
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          • #6
            I've just qjieted up my drums in the last few months. I went with L80s (added the 20" ride and splash to the 14-16-18 set) and a Gen16 china, because I'm a huge douchebag.

            For the drums themselves, I ended up with Remo Silentstrokes over Muff'l rings, with some strategic moleskin and bits of kick patches. It was a little work, but I've ended up with a very drum-like sound and feel at 80-85dB.
            Tauntr.com - Adding Insult to Everything!Neck Pocket Cavern Surveyor for the Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You club!"In all fairness, Les Pauls have a switch position labeled "Rhythm", while Strats do not, because they are lead guitars for lead guitarists." -Flatspotter

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            • #7
              I've used the SoundOff models before, and wrote about them (link below if anyone is interested in an in-depth review). Definitely get the thumbs up from me.

              I haven't heard of the aquarian superpads before, do you have a link?
              The best drum mutes and silencing pads to make sure you protect your hearing and stay popular with the neighbors.
              Last edited by Subreel; 01-28-2018, 04:29 PM.
              I run Subreel and write about music.

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              • #8
                https://www.aquariandrumheads.com/product/super-pads/

                Had to use Google to find it; couldn't navigate directly there using their site...

                There are also some YouTube vids out there...

                -D44
                ************************************************** *********************************

                Old guy, just trying to play through the arthritis...
                - Balance is a virtue; loud for its own sake is not... and loud won't fix bad
                - I may not interpret ridiculous, crazy, or stupid the way you intended
                - Common retail products are never awesome (thermo-nuclear probably is, though)
                Assume the requisite list of stuff...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks - they seem pretty good from the videos?
                  I run Subreel and write about music.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                    I've seen the demos of the Gen16's and the L80s... what I'd like to see them make is something that was quieter than regular cymbals, but not as much as the L80's... but my needs are for recording, not practice. I run into situations where drummers beat the crud out of their brass but comparatively hit their skins too softly, and I think it would be nice to keep a nice set of quieter (but not ridiculously so) cymbals on hand in the studio for such situations.
                    Sorry for quoting myself, but it seems that my wish may have been granted - at NAMM, Sabian announced not only their take on a low-volume practice cymbal (similar to the Gen16's and L80's, they're called Quiet Tone) but also a new line of cymbals called FRX. They're supposed to be frequency-compensated, and as I suspected before I learned about them, they're taking an approach similar to practice cymbals where they drill holes in them, just not nearly as many. The net result is a cymbal that's supposed to be ~4dB quieter than regular cymbals that can be used in situations where a drummer might otherwise be asked to "hold back" a bit - allowing them to play normally without risk of the cymbals being too loud or overpowering.

                    http://sabian.com/cymbals/index/series:frx/language:en

                    I've already requested review units to check out, so stay tuned. I'll let everyone know what I think of them once I have a chance to try them out in the studio.
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                    • #11
                      The Sabian FRX cymbals arrived here yesterday - I hope to do some SPL and frequency spectrum measurements on my current setup and then put the FRX cymbals up and do the same with them sometime this weekend.

                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                      - George Carlin

                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                      Comment

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